Friday, May 4, 2012

Peanut butter cup brownies

Peanut butter cup brownies

Sometimes, you have this grand, elaborate plan to make something that'll perfectly fit the occasion, something fancy that will really impress, or something that's seasonal or fits with a theme. And sometimes, you just need to come up with something simple that'll please a crowd, and you don't have a lot of time to think about it.

I had a bunch of mini peanut butter cups in the fridge that I'd stockpiled from post-Easter sales. Everybody likes peanut butter cups. So I plugged in "peanut butter cup" on Pinterest, my new best friend as far as the Interwebs goes. And I found these. And they were, indeed, crowd-pleasers: one person called them "crack," and another said "you're evil -- I can't stop eating these!"

One big, huge warning before you make these, though: Cut strips of parchment wider than the muffin cups and lay them inside each cup before you put in the batter (just plop the batter on top to make the strip fall into the cup). DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Or you will end up crying and swearing, like I was, as you scrape half-brownies out of the pan and throw them away, 'cause no matter how nonstick your pan is, these will not want to come out in one piece -- the tops will peel off in your hand, leaving the rest stubbornly sitting in the pan. And my pan is super-slippery, the type of pan that I usually don't even need to grease, 'cause stuff just slides right out of it. Trust me, just use the parchment strips: You'll end up with little parchment slings that you can pull to get the brownies out.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life

3/4 c butter
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
Around 40 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped

1. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Mix in the sugars, vanilla and eggs. Then, stir in the flour, cocoa and salt.
2. Grease your mini muffin pan. Cut little strips out of parchment paper, about a centimeter wide and long enough to put inside your mini muffin cups and have some hanging out over the edges.
3. For each muffin cup, hold a strip of parchment over the cup, then plop about a teaspoon of the batter onto it to push it down into the cup. Fill the cups only about two-thirds full of batter.
4. Place a peanut butter cup into each muffin cup and push down until the top of it is level with the top of the batter.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan by pulling on the ends of the parchment strips, peel off the parchment and place them on a cooling rack.

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